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I've been meaning to post, but there just hasn't been time! I've been having moments now and then where I think I might have hit my peak of sociability for a few days, moments where I just can't imagine having to speak or interact with anyone at all, the simple act of being silent and looking out a window, or petting a cat bringing a physical relief. It's quite a thing to have gone from wondering about my level of functionality due to being too shy/phobic to make an appointment to get a haircut to dances, dinner parties, and all this.

First, the Swan Lake Masquerade. I'd been hearing mention of the Dances of Vice for a couple of years now, but I'd always had an image in my head of it being the sort of thing that "the beautiful people" did. You know, the sort of velvet rope things where everyone is wearing the 'right' clothes, knows the 'right' people, etc., etc. There's a lot of that in NYC, and I just assumed this was more of the same, and since I'm just not one of the beautiful people of that type, I thought it wasn't available to me. A couple of months ago I went to a gothic sort of vaudeville event with Himself and a friend, and we met the DoV organizer, Shien Lee. She's a gracious, friendly woman, and chatted with us for quite a bit, including an invite to the masque. So, considering Miriam is up for just about *anything* and Himself is as sociable as they come, we went. We had a wonderful time - they're more than just parties, the masque included exhibitions by a dance troupe, a chamber ensemble, and opera, and finished off with an 18th century dance lesson. (which may have been better timed earlier in the evening - I was drink a cocktail called "Dancer's Ruin", and it seems I wasn't the only one!) Add that to an imaginitivly costumed, friendly crowd, and you have quite an evening.

The crowd is really quite a surprise. Shien says that they all tend to be quite hermetic, not going out much except for these, and my mind turns to caterpillers - when they come out of the coccoon, they're quite the butterflies, both in dress and manner, greeting even people they haven't seen before like old friends. I felt quite easy and welcomed quite quickly.

I didn't enjoy Midnight Follies (which was *not* a DoV event) as much. The crowd seemed a bit more insular, and was mixed with people who were members of the private club (the Player's Club) who really didn't have much interest in what was going on. On the other hand, watching the skilled swing dancers take to the floor was nice, as was hearing Martha Wainwright sing "La Vie en Rose".

Yesterday we went to the Steampunk World's Fair. I do wish we'd been able to do the whole weekend, there's so much to see and do! Finances just aren't right for it right now, but now we know, and are already talking about next year. There was a fair amount of the book group ladies there, and filling lunch table with any number of them always makes for fast paced, excellent conversation. I had a wonderful time.

Look at this, paragraphs of nothing but 'event reporting'. Unsurprisingly with all this gallivanting about my life at home has been somewhat hectic. It's working kind of well, though. I've been spending enough time with the sewing machine that I can see myself improving my skills. Also, that trouble I'd been having feeling like I was maintaining the housekeeping has been solved by Sir helping me out with a schedule. Amusingly it took ten minutes with his help, since I was so bogged down in the details I couldn't even think straight about it. Nothing like having a project manager helping you get procedures straight!

My inner life feels a tiny bit dusty and neglected, but now that I have a daily schedule set up that feels right and sensible I'll be able to start adding in more time for me meditation practice and yoga. I feel good about things. There's kinks to work out, but it's as if I'm finally starting to forge a life that has *everything* we want. The tricks are simple, just working out how to ensure we have it all in the right amounts. Pacing, really.
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November 2010

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